Wow…the online article that Bob Putnam wrote has caused quite a stir! Bob is, as many of you know, Dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, a PCHS grad and a member of the Port Clinton High School Academic Hall of Fame. My family moved to Catawba in 1962, so I am now officially a 50 year native. I would rather he not use the rubble at the old Middle School as a graphic, since that rubble marks a major improvement in local school facilities. He also failed to mention one of the biggest economic events in the history of our area, the closing of the Erie Army Depot in the mid 1960s, that cost well over 1,000 jobs. I think it ironic that his article appeared in The New York Times five days before Mike Rose is scheduled to give his presentation at the Elks Lodge on his plan for Waterworks Park. For years, downtowns across the country have stopped being retail centers. They are now financial centers as well as dining and entertainment centers. He talks about the loss of manufacturing jobs in Ottawa County, and it is very true. Other economic opportunities have sprung up to replace those jobs, but haven’t quite been able to do it. I’m talking about skilled trade jobs (marinas) and construction/building trade jobs. The increase in single-parent households is certainly not exclusive to Port Clinton. There have been many individuals who have come to Port Clinton seeking opportunity, entrepreneurs, developers and the like. They have made their fortune by working hard and responding to the changes in the marketplace that Putnam described. We have written about “job skills deficit” in The Beacon, but the incentive to work or to get training in the new local job market appears lacking in our community. Yes, very sad. I will be interested to learn what Mr. Rose has to say tonight. How about we take the park aspects of Waterworks Park and move them to the block now empty since the demolition of the old Middle School? Develop the waterfront, centralize the park. Keep the access to the waterfront for local residents.
Our “Find Wylie” winner this week is Caleb Cuevas of Port Clinton who was one of 293 individuals who found our friendly fish in the ad for OCTA in last week’s Beacon. Caleb wins our weekly $20 gift card from Friendship Food Stores as well as a beautiful decorative nautical floor mat from “Capn’s Custom Carpets” at Fort Firelands. We’ll definitely be hiding Wylie again this week. If you find him, drop off an entry form at our office in the Beacon Place Business Center or click on the Find Wylie Icon at our website, www.thebeacon.net.
The Port Clinton Community Band gave a concert last Sunday afternoon before an enthusiastic and appreciative crowd at Port Clinton Yacht Club. The group will again be performing again this Monday, Aug. 12, at 7 p.m. at Lakeview Park. I told director Rod Miller that he was my “second favorite local sousaphone player” right behind Jon Waters, director of bands at THE Ohio State University. He reminded me that he has one more “i-dotting” than does the Elmore native. Anyway, bring a blanket or a lawn chair and enjoy the free concert. In case of bad weather, the concert will be moved to the PCHS Performing Arts Center.
The 5th Annual Chemo Pub-Crawl will be held this Saturday, Aug. 10. The “crawl” starts at OurGuest Inn at 220 E. Perry Street and goes to the area’s top pubs including: The Bait House, McCarthy’s, Madison St. Pub, Rosie’s Kokomo Bay and the Jet Express Bar. Afterward, they will have a “Celebration of Life” at OurGuest Inn from 8-11. For more information, call OurGuest Inn at 419-734-7111 or go to their Web Site at www.pcchemocrawl.com. Also that day, they will have a Duck Drop starting at 11 a.m. You can purchase a Duck Ticket for $10 each which gives you either a round trip ferry ticket on the Miller Ferry or a day pass to Monsoon Lagoon. You can purchase your tickets at OurGuest Inn or Mutach’s Market.
Fun and good food will be on the agenda when Ottawa County’s Democrats host a picnic next Thursday, Aug. 15, at the Bay Township Hall on State Route 53 south of Port Clinton. The meal will begin at 6 p.m. with hot dogs, burgers and all the trimmings. Guests are asked to bring a side dish. Table service will be provided so just come and enjoy the fellowship and meal. It is a kid-friendly event. It is free and reservations are not required.
There will be another in the “Lunch & Learn” series at Otterbein North Shore next Tuesday, Aug. 13 at 12 noon. The topic will be “The Joy of Woodworking” and the speaker will be Robert Querns, a resident of the community who was a wood-working teacher before he retired. He will also highlight the many community uses for the Otterbein North Shore Wood Shop. They are asking that reservations be made by this Friday, Aug. 9, by calling 419-798-8250. Otterbein will also be hosting the Marblehead Chamber Business After Hours event next Thursday, Aug. 15.
Look out!!! The Port Clinton High School Class of 1978 is holding their 35th Class Reunion this weekend, with their premier event happening Saturday night at Port Clinton Yacht Club. I was the “Voice of the Redskins” on radio back when this class was winning championships. PCHS has 2 outstanding athletic classes in 1977 and 1978, and the football teams from 1975-77 went 7-3, 9-1 and 8-2 during that golden era. Many of the members of this class have remained extremely close over the intervening 35 years. Have fun, kids!
Sharon Mefferd, longtime member of the board with the Friends of Port Clinton Parks wrote me this week asking me to write an item about their Annual Flea Market/Garage Sale to be held on Saturday, Aug. 17. Crafters and families interested can set up a 12’ x 12’ space for only $15. The sale will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lakeview Park. The Friends will serve a pancake breakfast and a hot dog lunch. For more information or to become a vendor, contact Sharon at 419-734-2954. She also sent us a note to tell us that Jacob Hastings, Sharon’s grandson and son of former PC resident Wendy Mefferd Hastings, was the pitcher for the Circleville American Legion team that finished second at the State Tournament.